Tag: NASA KSC

NASA Looks Ahead to Major Milestones for Orion Program

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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — From the beginning of assembly work on the Orion crew module at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to testing a range of the spacecraft systems, engineers made headway in 2016 in advance of the spacecraft’s 2018 mission beyond the moon. A look at the important milestones that lie ahead in the next year give a glimpse into how NASA is pressing ahead to develop, build, test and fly the spacecraft that will enable human missions far into deep space.
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Ultra-Cold Storage – Liquid Hydrogen May be Fuel of the Future

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Technicians with Praxair pressurize the hydrogen trailer before offloading liquid hydrogen during a test of the Ground Operations Demo Unit for liquid hydrogen at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Credit: NASA/Cory Huston)

Technicians with Praxair pressurize the hydrogen trailer before offloading liquid hydrogen during a test of the Ground Operations Demo Unit for liquid hydrogen at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Credit: NASA/Cory Huston)

By Amanda Griffin and Linda Herridge
NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center

When NASA saved a shuttle-era storage facility at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida from demolition five years ago, engineers already had future in mind for what to do with the building. Some three years later, NASA transformed the hangar and installed test equipment at an adjacent field for testing a new ground operations demo unit for liquid hydrogen. The testing has come to a successful conclusion after 1.5 years.

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Kennedy Space Center Becomes Multi-Use Launch Center

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Video Caption: The new Space Age is launching at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center through a combination of expertise and innovation among government and commercial providers.

I Will Launch America: Juan Calero

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Credit; NASA

Credit; NASA

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — Juan Calero had great interest in aerospace from an early age. That interest was initially sparked by his father, who worked in the airline industry, and the many flights his father took him on all over the world.

“I loved the trips, but really didn’t care about where we went,” said Calero. “I was more interested in the different planes and analyzing them.”

It’s that level of enthusiasm that drives Calero in his current role as integration lead for NASA’s Integrated Performance Office at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

His early passion was to become a pilot, but Calero took on electrical engineering instead. While he remembers visiting Kennedy as a kid, he never envisioned working for the space agency. That all changed when NASA held open interviews at his alma mater, the University of Miami in Coral Gables, in 1990.

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Kennedy Space Center Remains Closed After Hurricane

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A support building is seen during an aerial survey of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday. (Credit: NASA/Cory Huston)

A support building is seen during an aerial survey of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday. (Credit: NASA/Cory Huston)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — After the initial inspection flight Saturday morning, it was determined that the center received some isolated roof damage, damaged support buildings, a few downed power lines, and limited water intrusion.

The Beach House is seen during an aerial survey of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday. (Credit: NASA/Cory Huston)

The Beach House is seen during an aerial survey of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday. (Credit: NASA/Cory Huston)

Since safety is our utmost concern, teams of inspectors are going from building-to-building assessing damage.

The NASA News Center is seen during an aerial survey of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday.  (Credit: NASA/Cory Huston)

The NASA News Center is seen during an aerial survey of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday. (Credit: NASA/Cory Huston)

Due to the complexity of this effort, teams need time to thoroughly inspect all buildings and roads prior to opening the Kennedy Space Center for regular business operations.

Not until after a full inspection of the center will a list of damaged buildings and equipment be available. The next update will be available no earlier than Sunday afternoon.

For photos from today’s aerial survey, go to Kennedy’s Flickr page at flickr.com/nasakennedy

KSC Avoids Direct Hit By Hurricane Matthew

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This visible image on Oct. 6 at 1:00 p.m. EDT from NOAA's GOES-East satellite shows Hurricane Matthew as it regained Category 4 Hurricane Status. (Credits: NASA/NOAA GOES Project)

This visible image on Oct. 6 at 1:00 p.m. EDT from NOAA’s GOES-East satellite shows Hurricane Matthew as it regained Category 4 Hurricane Status. (Credits: NASA/NOAA GOES Project)

Hurricane Matthew Update
NASA Kennedy Space Center

Oct. 7, 2016, 9:45 a.m. EDT – Hurricane Matthew has now passed offshore from Cape Canaveral and is north of Kennedy Space Center.  The wind is starting to decline but remains near tropical storm strength.  However, until the wind is consistently below 50 knots a crew cannot be sent outside to begin a more thorough look at KSC. That is expected sometime this afternoon.  At this time there is observed to be limited roof damage to KSC facilities, water and electrical utilities services have been disrupted and there is scattered debris. Storm surge has been observed to be relatively minimal, limited to localized portions of the space center. The Damage Assessment and Recovery Team will be brought in for its formal assessment Saturday morning.

Editor’s Note: KSC and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station dodged a bullet by avoiding a direct hit. The hurricane ended up tracking about 20 miles to the east of where forecasters initially believed. This kept the strongest winds off shore.

SpaceXplosion Update: Preliminary Review Suggests “Large Breach in Cryogenic Helium System”

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Credit: USLaunchReport.com

Credit: USLaunchReport.com

SpaceX Falcon 9 Loss Update
September 23, 1:00pm EDT

Three weeks ago, SpaceX experienced an anomaly at our Launch Complex 40 (LC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. This resulted in the loss of one of our Falcon 9 rockets and its payload.

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Orion Crew Module Reaches Milestone in Processing for First Test SLS Flight

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The Orion crew module for Exploration Mission 1 was transferred into the clean room inside the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy Space Center in late July to begin installation of the spacecraft's critical systems, including propellant lines. (Credit: NASA)

The Orion crew module for Exploration Mission 1 was transferred into the clean room inside the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy Space Center in late July to begin installation of the spacecraft’s critical systems, including propellant lines. (Credit: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — Assembly of the Orion crew module for the first uncrewed flight test atop NASA’s Space Launch System reached a significant milestone this month in the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building high bay at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Lockheed Martin, manufacturer of Orion, and its subcontractor engineers, technicians and X-ray specialists completed the first propellant system tube welds on the exterior of the Orion pressure vessel.

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Falcon 9 Pad Failure Throws SpaceX Schedule into Doubt

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Falcon 9 explodes on the launch pad. (Credit: USLaunchReport.com)

Falcon 9 explodes on the launch pad. (Credit: USLaunchReport.com)

The loss of a Falcon 9 rocket and its Amos 6 communications satellite payload in a launch pad accident on Friday morning throws the company’s ambitious launch schedule into confusion.

SpaceX has launched eight rockets successfully in 2016. The company had planned 10 more launches by the end of this year.  (See table below; information courtesy of Spaceflightnow.com). That plan was very ambitious, and it is unclear the company would have flown all these missions.

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NASA Sets Schedule for OSIRIS-REx Briefings, Launch Coverage

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This is an artist's concept of NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft preparing to take a sample from asteroid Bennu. Image Credit:  NASA/Goddard/Chris Meaney

This is an artist’s concept of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft preparing to take a sample from asteroid Bennu. (Credit: NASA/Goddard/Chris Meaney)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA is gearing up to launch the United States’ first mission to sample an asteroid, with activities at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida beginning Tuesday, Sept. 6, and culminating with the spacecraft launch Thursday, Sept. 8. Various activities are open to media and will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft is scheduled to launch aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA)  Atlas V rocket between 7:05 and 9:05 p.m. EDT Sept. 8 from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, neighboring Kennedy in Florida.

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ASAP Update on NASA’s Commercial Crew Program

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Launch_America_Commercial_Crew
The Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) held a meeting on July 21, 2016 at NASA’s headquarters in Washington, DC. Below is a summary of the status of the  Commercial Crew program and the Boeing and SpaceX vehicles, including top programmatic risks.

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I Will Launch America: Steve Payne

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i_will_launch_steve_payneBy Joshua Finch,
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Steve Payne always knew he wanted to work for NASA.

“As a kid, I watched the moon landings on TV,” Payne said. “I grew up with pictures of rockets on my wall. Like every kid in that era, space was everywhere and I wanted to do that.”

Over the years, Payne has not lost his passion for all things space and sometimes he gets a little carried away. Like earlier this year, when he was asked to build a model rocket for his child’s school fundraiser and ended up with a 15-foot-tall, high-fidelity model of a Saturn 1B rocket from the early days of the space program. The model rocket still sits in his living room.

“I did it for the kids’ school, but also because I’m a nerd,” said Payne. “I like launching model rockets anyway. I build my own rockets from scratch. I can make almost anything fly with a rocket engine in it.”

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Boeing Debuts Modernized High Bay at Kennedy Space Center

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Boeing CST-100 Starliner high bay (Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett)

Boeing CST-100 Starliner high bay (Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — Boeing on Tuesday unveiled its clean-floor facility that serves as the hub for its CST-100 Starliner spacecraft as they are manufactured and prepared for flight to and from the International Space Station, and where they’ll refurbished between missions. The high bay in the company’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility, formerly known as Orbiter Processing Facility 3, is now modernized and ready to support the Starliner program.

It was once filled with about 1,000 tons of steel work platforms that enshrouded the space shuttle orbiters as they were refurbished and prepared for flight. Today, the facility contains several pieces of hardware and a mock-up that are key to Boeing’s and NASA’s efforts to launch astronauts from Florida’s Space Coast through the Commercial Crew Program.

(Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett)

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Historic Pad 39A Being Transformed for Falcon Launches

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Pad 39A (Credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis)

Pad 39A Credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — Removing hundreds of thousands of pounds of steel and adding robust, new fixtures, SpaceX is steadily transforming Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for use as a launch pad for its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets. The launchers will lift numerous payloads into orbit, including the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft with astronauts aboard bound for the International Space Station.

Pad 39A is being modified for Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launches (Credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis)

Pad 39A is being modified for Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launches (Credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis)

A horizontal integration facility was built at the base of the pad and rails installed running up the incline to the flame trench. Instead of arriving to the pad on the back of the crawler-transporters, SpaceX rockets will roll on a custom-built transporter-erector that will carry them up the hill and then stand the rocket up for liftoff. The fixed service structure at the pad deck will remain, although more than 500,000 pounds of steel has already been removed from it. SpaceX has already started removing the rotating service structure, which is attached to the fixed structure. Built for the need to load a shuttle’s cargo bay at the pad, it does not serve a purpose for Falcon launchers whose payloads are mounted on the top of the rocket.

Pad 39A  (Credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis)

Pad 39A (Credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis)

SpaceX leased the historic launch pad from NASA in April 2014 and has been steadily remaking it from a space shuttle launch facility into one suited for the needs of the Falcon rockets and their payloads. It is the same launch pad where Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins lifted off on July 16, 1969, to begin their Apollo 11 flight that would make history as the first to land people on the moon. Almost all signs of Apollo-era hardware were removed from the launch pad when it was rebuilt for the shuttle.

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Commercial Crew Manufacturing Gains Momentum Coast to Coast

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Technicians lower the upper dome of a Boeing Starliner spacecraft onto a work stand inside the company’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The upper dome is part of Spacecraft 1, a Starliner that will perform a pad abort flight test as part of the development process of the spacecraft in partnership with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.  (Credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis)

Technicians lower the upper dome of a Boeing Starliner spacecraft onto a work stand inside the company’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The upper dome is part of Spacecraft 1, a Starliner that will perform a pad abort flight test as part of the development process of the spacecraft in partnership with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. (Credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis)

By Steven Siceloff,
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Manufacturing facilities are in operation on the east and west coasts to build the next generation of spacecraft to return human launch capability to American soil. Over the past six months, Boeing and SpaceX – the companies partnered with NASA to transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station – each have begun producing the first in a series of spacecraft.

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